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Rafter Five... Don't make a splash!

A fast paced, pocket sized dexterity game, Rafter Five will have you manipulating meeples and cards as you try and build the biggest raft possible without dropping your opponents treasure chests into the ocean. There can only be one loser... will it be you?

Rafter Five Board Game set up

Any game with a sea theme, will automatically earn a place on my shelf as I am obsessed with the sea. Admittedly, this has led to some bad choices but ultimately most of them have definitly been worthwhile. When you couple a sea theme with dexterity however, you've managed to hit 2 of my favourite categories for games and therefore it's not surprise that this game was with us as soon as it was released in the UK!

First Impressions

The brightness of the box and the fun bold artwork on the front, makes up for the small size when looking for it on the shelf as it catches your eye from across the room! As with many Oink games, they fit alot into a small box along with the ruleset in multiple languages; Rafter Five was no different. The components are of a decent quality, although I did intially think the cards felt a little flimsy, but the chests and the meeples are wooden and well designed. Upon playing the game, it became clear the flimsiness of the cards was intentional as it aids in the precarious balancing act of placing meeples and chests on each plank to extend the size of the raft and also promote the chests falling off!

Game Play Overview

Rafter Five Board Game stacking up

The goal of the game is not to be the first person to knock off 5 of your opponents treasure chests or to at least not be the person with the most penalties from your opponents chests. On your turn, you'll pick up one of the available meeples. If they are all on the raft, they are all available, however if any of them are in the sea, these must be selected before those on the raft can be chosen again. Once you have your meeple, pick up one of the sea cards, flipping it over to the plank side and place it on the raft

overlapping at least one other plank. Place your selected meeple on top of it along with one of your treasure chests and then pass the turn to the next player. If at any point during your turn you knock off any treasure chests, if they are your own, return them to your pool of chests. If however they are an opponents, add them to your penalties board. As soon as a player earns 5 or more penalties, the game ends and that player loses. If, however, all players run out of chests to place or you run out of sea cards to place onto the raft, the game ends and the player with the most penalties loses.

Pros and Cons

Rafter Five board game, raft collapse

Rafter Five is simple to learn and easy to pick up. It's quick to teach and doesn't take too long to play but is great fun and is equally frustrating and entertaining. As I said previously, the sea cards are a little on the flimsy side, however this is for good reason and the penalty boards, meeples and chests are all of good quality and sturdiness. The cards won't rip easily but have a nice bounce to them. I really liked that this game used the box as part of the set up and helped to build some height to build your raft off. It's also a lovely small and compact game that provides good value for money and can be played solo or as part of a large group with up to 6 players being able to join in the fun.

Final Verdict

Overall, I really enjoyed Rafter Five, its a fun dexterity game that doesn't take up much table space but has tension and laughter throughout. It's a great game to pop in your bag or pocket when heading out and about to fill any spare time you may have or to get a group of people together having a laugh.

In conclusion, we would rate this game a 9.3/10

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